The title of the company was changed by act of April 18, 1853, to the North Pennsylvania Railroad Company.
It was formally opened Monday, July 2, 1855, by an excursion from the Cohoquinoque Station, at Front and Willow Streets, to Fort Washington. The passenger depot remained at Front and Willow Streets until 1864, when it was removed to Germantown Road, above Thompson Street (later used as the Milk Depot).
This building was erected to serve a dual purpose-hotel and railroad depot.
Application having been made to the Legislature for a charter for a railroad company to ply between Philadelphia and Norristown (See stock certificate for this railroad), an act was passed on February 17, 1831, incorporating the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown railroad. On November 23, 1832, a great novelty was introduced in the shape of a locomotive engine, which had been built by Matthias W. the engine ran beyond the township line at a speed of about twenty-eight miles per hour.
Eight thousand shares at fifty dollars each were authorized to be issued. Rails were laid to Germantown and the road was formally opened on June 6, 1832. On the following day the locomotive drew four cars loaded with passengers to Germantown, a distance of six mile, in twenty-eight minutes.
1858 In May, 1857, the Philadelphia and Delaware River Railroad was chartered, giving the right to build a road from Philadelphia to Frankford, upon which cars drawn by horses could be used. Great excitement among brokers and bankers in consequence of the discovery of an over-issue of stock of the Market Street Railroad Company, which it was subsequently ascertained amounted to about 11,000 shares. Seventeenth and Nineteenth Streets Passengers Railway formally opened as a portion of the Continental Passenger Railway. The controlling interest in the Union Passenger Railway Company, 12,600 shares, purchased by a combination, principally composed of officers and stockholders of the Continental Passenger Railway Company, at 0.00 a share.
Horse cars were in use from January 8, 1858, to November 17, 1863, when the Frankford and Southwark Passenger Railway introduced "dummies" which ran from the depot, Fourth and Berks Streets, to Frankford. The engine was on one side, and the boiler, an upright one, was on the other side, with the engineer sitting between them, not a choice seat in midsummer. (This was the nucleus to the formation of combinations, eventually forming the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company). Fifteen thousand three hundred and nine shares of stock in the Germantown City Passenger Railway Company (Fourth and Eighth Streets) being a controlling interest, sold to a syndicate represented by the People's (Callowhill Street) Railway Company. The Lombard and South Street Passenger Railway leased to the West End and Angora Passenger Railway Company. By vote of 18,463 shares in favor, to 3,501 against the proposition, the stockholders of Germantown Passenger Railway (Fourth and Eighth Streets) resolved to lease their road and franchises to the People's Passenger Railway (Callowhill Street) for 999 years at a maximum rental of .50 per share, or nine per cent, on the capital stock. Directors of the Union Passenger Railway Company resolved to adopt the cable-motor system for propulsion of their cars on Columbia Avenue branch from Twenty-third Street to East Park entrance. Spruce and Pine Streets Passenger Railway cars commenced to run for five-cent fares to Fairmount and Gray's Ferry, from Delaware Avenue. Lombard and South Street, and Spruce and Pine Streets Passenger Railway Companies (five-cent fare roads) began a system of exchanges for six cents over both roads. Stockholders of the West End Passenger Railway Company, by a vote of over 6,000 shares to 3,000 agree to consolidate "Tinkle, little bell, when you'll come no one can tell! Apathetic in motion and rich in atmosphere, for decades these snappy roadsters rambled tediously over their tortuous tracks, pro-pelled by decadent equine energy and guided by hands that spared not the lash last they hold a slack rein. Remember the four and six horse hitches on snowy winter nights-the end-less blockades-the exciting moments when the driver would run the car off the track and then bounce it boldly on again?